heaven sent

It took a year after I pulled the kids out of public school before I found my slice of homeschooling heaven.  It’s been 6 years since they originally left public school and I still stand by the heaven I found.  When I first brought them home, I thought I’d done my research.  I thought I had found a great method that fit my philosophies; one that would provide them some freedoms they hadn’t known in public school.  Little did I know that it wouldn’t suit them and that the homeschooling journey would be one of constant change.  There were so many things I was unprepared for.  It’s like having your first child.  You get a gazillion pieces of advice while you’re pregnant but until you go through the experience yourself, there’s just no way you can comprehend what anyone is telling you or imagine what it will truly be like.  Well after that first year of floundering and not really liking the program I had chosen, I discovered this:

I’ve often heard converts to my church say that as they heard the missionaries teach them, it was like they knew those things all along.  This is how I feel about the philosophies in this book.  When I first read this book, it was as if I already knew the concepts.  I just never knew how to verbally communicate them or put them together in that way.  Everything I read just made perfect sense to me.  I understood the why.  I could picture the how.  I now use this as the baseline for all that I do in our homeschooling world.  The book is insanely comprehensive and there’s no way I could do it all.  And of course, a book is not a be-all/end-all.  Minor adjustments always need to be made along the way to fit your own personal situation.  The book even suggests it.  And no one knows better than God what each child needs anyway.

I have a love/hate relationship with homeschooling.  Who knows if it will always be that way.  But I am hugely grateful for this book, and the friends who introduced me to it.  For those of you who would like to know more about it, and the mother/daughter team that wrote it, visit THE WELL-TRAINED MIND.  It’s definitely a cyberspace pitstop worth perusing.

science faves

When I first began homeschooling I got a general science book that was arranged chronologically. The theory would be that it would follow the timeline of history studies and be more cohesive to the kids. Well the general science book was teaching evolution and I just wasn’t ready for that. It’s not that I don’t want them to know about evolution. I think it’s good to know about all kinds of theories, even if I don’t personally believe in them. But because I’m so limited in my actual scriptural knowledge, I knew I would not be able to explain away evolution with scripture references as support. So I quickly sold that book and found another.

I was VERY excited to find the APOLOGIA science books. They are creation-based and they have small activities and experiments already built in to each lesson! I was so glad I didn’t have to go hunting for a science experiment book that matched each of our lesson topics! These books read right to the student, so the kids can even read them independently. Each lesson is very thorough in what it covers, and this line of books can carry my kids all the way through high school. The kids love them. They have great colorful pictures and are easy to understand. I love that they talk about God and have scripture references occasionally. Here are some we’ve been through:

There are just a few topics here and there that Apologia doesn’t cover. So I was on the hunt for something that would fill in the gaps. I wanted to at least brush on these other subjects before they hit high school science. I found another creation-based series called GOD’S DESIGN that fit perfectly. It’s not as thorough as Apologia, but the topics are good and the pictures are nice. Each lesson can be as long or as short as you want, so the flexibility is great.  Here’s one we started with:

Check out the websites to see each line’s full spectrum of books. I hope you find something that will work for you!